Posts from 2022
Posted in Court Decisions
Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees Not Permissible for Lawyer/Spouse Plaintiffs Under Uniform Relocation Act

A recent Federal Circuit case, Haggart v. United States, No. 21-1660 (June 22, 2022) determined that under the Uniform Relocation Act, like other fee-shifting statutes, attorneys’ fees are not recoverable if the lawyer is one of the litigants.

Background

This case originally started as a rails-to-trails class action case out of Washington State.  A husband and wife were part of the class that alleged their property was taken.  This proceeding was brought in order to recover compensation for the taking of property by a federal agency.  The Uniform Relocation Act comes into play ...

Posted in Right-of-Way
Ch-Ch-Changes in the Law: Eminent Domain and Infrastructure Update

Earlier this month, we gave a presentation during the International Right of Way Association’s 68th Annual Education Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. In keeping with the “rock and roll” theme, our session, “Ch-Ch-Changes in the Law: Eminent Domain and Infrastructure Update,” provided an overview of recent case law and legislation impacting the eminent domain and the right of way industries across the U.S. Additionally, we provided an update on the Infrastructure Bill, where funding and projects are kicking off, and discussed potential barriers to fully taking ...

Businesses Shut Down by COVID-19 Regulations May Not Bring Inverse Condemnation Claims

For the first time, a California state appellate court has decided whether businesses may bring takings claims against the government due to COVID-19 shutdown orders. In 640 Tenth, LP v. Newsom, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the San Diego Superior Court’s dismissal of an attempted class action brought by owners of restaurants, gyms and other businesses that had been closed pursuant to COVID regulations. The Court of Appeal held: “A mandated-but-temporary business closure to deal with a public health emergency” is not a taking requiring just compensation. The ...

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Eminent Domain 2021 Year in Review

Brad Kuhn and Jillian Friess Leivas authored the article “Eminent Domain 2021 Year in Review” for The Appraisal Journal. The article takes an in-depth look at multiple developments on the eminent domain front that occurred in 2021, including the special occasion when the U.S. Supreme Court heard two taking cases. It also examines the impact of the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which aims to provide federal funding for infrastructure projects for many years to come.

The Appraisal Journal is a publication of The Appraisal Institute, a global ...

Posted in Court Decisions
Conveyance Language Determines Scope of Rights

The language in conveyance and real estate documents impacts the type of property interests that are created and conveyed and defines the scope of those interests.  The importance of documentary language was crucial in a recent unpublished California Court of Appeal case, Canyon Vineyard Estates I, LLC v. DeJoria, 2022 Cal.App.Unpub. LEXIS 3414, which discussed issues of fee conveyance, conservation easements, and subordination issues.

Background

A property owner owned over 400 acres of undeveloped land along the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific coastline.  The owner ...

Posted in Court Decisions
City’s Forced Sale of Public Nuisance Property Not a Taking

When the government forces a property owner to sell private property, it is usually done through an eminent domain action (a direct taking), and the government is required to pay just compensation. But what if the forced sale is because the property is a public nuisance (for example, if the property is dilapidated and has code violations) -- does that constitute a taking requiring the use of eminent domain? According to a recent Court of Appeal decision, the answer is no: the forced sale of private property based on public nuisance grounds is within the government’s police powers.

In

Recent and Proposed Legislation Impacting the Eminent Domain & ROW Industry

On April 5, 2022, Brad Kuhn and Jillian Friess Leivas will present “Recent and Proposed Legislation Impacting the Eminent Domain & ROW Industry” during the Eminent Domain & Right of Way Club's virtual Lounge Event.

Brad and Jillian will discuss how recent legislation is impacting the Eminent Domain and Right of Way (ROW) industry and will review the trends observed in recent and proposed legislation.

Lounge Events are hosted exclusively on the Clubhouse app and are held the first and third weeks of every month.

The Eminent Domain & Right of Way Club is geared toward right of way ...

Post-Pakdel Ripeness: "Modest Requirement" Not Met By Incomplete Application

A new decision out of the Northern District of California applying the “final action” standards of Pakdel v. City and County of San Francisco has come out – with the District Court concluding that even under Pakdel’s “relatively modest” standard, a landowner seeking to develop their property must still actually receive a final decision on the merits of their proposal before filing a takings claim in federal court.  The new case is DiVittorio v. County of Santa Clara, and the opinion by the Hon. Beth Labson Freeman helps further clarify the steps a landowner must satisfy before availing themselves of the federal court system ...

Posted in Water
Granting of Water Supplies Vitiates Public Entity’s Need to Acquire Ground Water Rights Through Eminent Domain

Rosamond Community Services District (“RCSD”) recently approved the adoption of a resolution of necessity and filed a case to acquire water rights from agricultural land by eminent domain. After the adoption of the Resolution of Necessity, Antelope Valley Water Master granted the RCSD with a 999 acre-foot permanent water pumping allotment, in addition to a one-time pumping allotment of 5,000 acre-feet. These allotments significantly changed RCSD’s water acquisition needs and eliminated the need for eminent domain to be used.

While it is not uncommon for a public ...

Summary of Major U.S. Eminent Domain Cases & Legislation

The International Right of Way Association (IRWA) recently released its annual report, which contains summaries of eminent domain decisions and legislation within the United States, and is an important resource and reference point for professionals in the right-of-way industry. IRWA’s Real Estate Law Committee – which is chaired by Brad Kuhn, Chair of our Eminent Domain & Valuation Group – releases the report biannually. Brad and Nossaman Eminent Domain & Valuation Group associate Jillian Friess Leivas authored the report along with Robert Thomas, the Joseph T ...

California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain in California. We cover all aspects of eminent domain in California, including condemnation, inverse condemnation, and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts, and report on all major California eminent domain conferences and seminars.

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